Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I cried 'til my tears went dry--oh, it took me forever, but now I can smile

A general comment on Sanna Nielsen's new album Stronger: it's actually a really enjoyable listen. It's important to get one thing straight: do not go in expecting disco or schlager--you're better off thinking of Sanna as following in the musical shoes of Celine Dion than Lena Philipsson; it's very much an "easy listening" sort of album. That said, there are pop-rock-ish tracks, tracks that could probably be turned into country songs with little difficulty, and a frosted moody track that's an exciting welcome surprise. There may be a few ballads you don't see yourself returning to much, but there are more than enough other songs on this fourteen track album to make it a worthy purchase, even if it's not an album I'd say you absolutely must own now (you'd probably be more content waiting for its price to drop a bit, though I think it was worth the price I paid for it).

In lieu of a proper album review (there's no way I could do that after only having got the album today), here are my favorites at the moment, listed in the order they appear on the album (not in order of preference); keep in mind that I'm usually slow to appreciate ballads, so those are unlikely to appear on any early favorites list from me but could grow on me with time. If you want to make judgments of your own, listen to clips here or stream the full songs thirty seconds at a time here.

Strong

Wanna be wanna be your love
Wanna be wanna be your one

Sanna's stolen Ne-Yo ("Because Of You") and Mariah's ("I'm That Chick") drum machine! And tweaked it a bit and made it less prominent, setting it back in the mix of a song which unlike "I'm That Chick" doesn't have a disco feel, instead more a feeling of constantly walking on, which fits perfectly with the lyrics. It's a sound I'm surprised to hear from Sanna, but a welcome poppy one.

Nobody Without You

Lost in paradise
Bottled up inside
Playing with dynamite
'Bout to blow my mind

You're my saviour
I'm your prisoner
You have set me free
Under your commaaaaaaaannnndd
Caught in your embraaaaaacccce
Knowing that I aaaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aam...

Nobody without you
But a wreck of a broken heart
Nobody without you
Just a cry in the desert

...which I wrote about before; Sanna goes dramatic semi-rock chick to fantastic results.

I Believe It's You

You don't have to say another word
I believe in you

Up-tempo in a very Celine Dion (I think--I don't know that much Celine Dion work) sort of way; great catchy easy-to-swallow chorus.

Tomorrow Ends Today

I have drifted way off course
In the sea of love

Stealing Aftonbladet's word, "chilly" is a good way to describe this pop song ("frosty" couldn't be a more appropriate opening word); "moody" as well. Mature pop in the sophisticated sense, not the dull sense. Once again, a surprising sound for Sanna, but a welcome one.

Impatiently Waiting For You

Impatiently waiting for you
Hoping my dream will come true
Impatiently waiting for you
'Cause baby that's all I can do

Another uptempo-in-that-Celine-way track, "Impatiently Waiting For You" is uplifting and pretty fun (though don't let "fun" make you think it's crazy in any way whatsoever), once again with a power chorus.

Those Were The Days And The Nights Of Loving You

Suddenly something came over me
And made me think of you
Maybe the rain on the window
Just sounded like then
Or a song on the radio,
I don't know
But I found myself back again

I was just seventeen
I was granted a wish and you were the dream


This could be turned into a full-fledged country song pretty easily, and as is it already bears some traits of one. It's also (once again) uptempo Celine Dion-esque and has Sanna reminiscing about an old relationship.

But I Know What I Want

But I know what I want
And I know that I want you
'Cause I know what I got
And it's unbelievable

Uptempo and maybe Celine Dion-esque, especially in the verses, but the chorus is a bit different, with this punchy fast-paced delivery of the beginning lines instead of having that soaring feel the choruses of songs like "Impatiently Waiting For You" and "I Believe It's You" do. Wins mega-kudos from me for those lyrics quoted above; don't you just want to using that line?

All of the above songs are fully great in my eyes, which would be enough to make me happy with the album. I can also see a lot of people liking "Magic" (a rockier track, though not in the verses; it's fine, but the chorus makes it just a second-tier pop-rock track for me right now) and "I Can Catch The Moon" (a ballad).

If you're looking to pick it up, I know that you can definitely buy a physical copy here even if you don't live in Sweden; you might be able to buy a digital copy (with unprotected 320 kbps mp3s) here, but I'm unsure if there are regional restrictions [that page will tell you if there are for where you're living].

Next up: those American singers. Or maybe something about another Swedish album released today.

11 comments:

Andrew said...

Her cd is amazing...thanks for the little review of it...also, I dont know if you have heard this one by here but its the song titled loneliness (http://www.zshare.net/audio/10650187a4369ae5/ ) theres a link to the video of the song playing in case you have not had the pleasure of listening to it. Just wondering if you knew where that song came from because I cant find it on any of her cds.
Thanks a bunch!
-Andrew-
ajh4g9@yahoo.com

Andrew said...

oops, here is the real link to the video...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1ziD3EiXe0
sorry about that one!
-Andrew-

Andrew said...

and sorry to keep posting like a maniac...but I just uploaded a great remix of Will.I.Am that I think you would enjoy if you have not heard it yet....
http://www.zshare.net/audio/106505336b35ca25/
ENJOY!
-Andrew-

D'luv said...

God, those lyrics are so deep, I had to pop a Tic Tac.

D'luv said...

Oh, and Andrew, let me know when you're up for some D'luvvin'.

Poster Girl said...

Ha ha, no, Andrew, the more comments the better! :) "Loneliness" is from Sanna's greatest hits album that she released last year; it's called Sanna 11-22 and had (in addition to "Våger Du, Våger Jag," two new songs on it: "Loneliness" and "Surrender," both of which are fantastic--have you heard "Surrender"? There's a video of her performing it here. I really would've loved a song like either of those on this new album, but I knew it was really unlikely given her move away from schlager...I didn't know that remix--thanks!

D'luv, I'd guess you've never listened to Sanna's "Empty Room" when I posted it earlier--you missed out on some PURE POETRY there, let me tell you.

A walk in the park shouldn't be that bad
But everything without you seems to make me sad

Anonymous said...

I managed to get that album from the Klicktrack website in the end.
Only listened to it once so far but its a really great album.
Heres a VERY mini review lol.

01 - Strong - Great start to the album, very sound of breezy summery track really - 7/10

02 - Empty Room - Love this ballad, would of been happy of it to win melodifestivalen, amazing vocals - 9/10

03 - Nobody Without You - Stunning pop/rock song here, reminds me of Anastacia/Delta Goorem. - 8.5/10

04 - Heart Of Me - Alright ballad this but it didnt wow me at all - 5.5/10

05 - Tommorow Ends Today -
Brilliant mature pop song this is, expected it to launch into a power rock chorus but it doesnt, however its still great - 8.5/10

06 - Impatiently Waiting For You -
This rather reminds me of Celine Dions 'Im Alive' crossed with an uptempo schalger type song for some reason. Instantly love this, got it on again now - 9.5/10

07 - Those Were The Days And The Nights Of Loving You -
Completely agree with your review, stunning pop song, not much to say really - 9/10

08 - Out Of Reach - The chorus is nice, i cant remember the rest of it already, bit of a filler - 5/10

09 - But I Know What I Want -
My favourite <3
I really love that chorus, really stunning pop song - 10/10

10 - Broken In Two - Very must like a Celine Dion album leftover. Its nice but nothing wow - 6/10

11 - Magic - Stunning! love the mysterious vibe there is to this, the xylophone sounds and that rocky chorus. I swear ive heard it before though - 9.5/10

12 - I Can Catch The Moon - Rather nice song here but its not grown much of me despite hearing it a good two weeks ago - 5.5/10

13 - This Is My Thanks - Im not really a great lover of ballads so i actually turned this off after 10seconds lol

Overall - Great album minus the ballads. I love the uptempo/midtempo tracks so much, great album which ill be playing all summer. The Ballads are pretty good but not my thing except for 'Empty Room'.

Also while im here, here is a list of new singers/bands you might be interested in.

'Varisty' - New synth-pop/r&b boyband. Great melodies etc to their songs.

'Lady Gaga Ft Colby O'Donis - Just Dance' - Really great blend of bubblegum pop, synth-r&b etc, really good fun track.

'Joana Zimmer' - A great German pop singer, shes released two albums already and the thirds out soon. Shes rather similar to Sanna Nielsen actually, check out 'Got To Be Sure' its a great schlager type dance-pop song.

Turning into a much better year now for music :D
Hopefully Charlotte Perrelli's new album will be worth the wait.
Im hoping Simon Curtis & BeFour's albums will be good aswell.

Anonymous said...

Sorry btw for posting such a long comment lol ;p

Conor

x

Poster Girl said...

Conor, I love comments from you! And no, a long comment is fantastic :D I think I pretty much agree with your thoughts on the album, too.

You do a great job of pulling me out of devolving into pure Swedish music/schlager all the time, too. I'd never heard about that Lady Gaga track ANYWHERE, either--why not? It's FANTASTIC! Thanks SO much for that tip! :D I do know Varsity--I actually owe Paul a comment on them; I like (though D'luv finds it annoying) the "lemme get-get-get that chick" part of one of their songs, though I don't think I was too sold on either of their tracks besides that one--I'll go give them another listen. I'm off to go look up Joanna Zimmer now too--her name seems vaguely familiar, but I don't know any of her songs, or at least can't call them to mind right now...

Adrian said...

Boo to the no-schlager-from-Sanna. Boo hiss boo.

Still, at least she still has her fringe.

Poster Girl said...

Oh, I know--I would've loved another "Surrender" on this album, and I know Bobby could have given us one if Sanna had wanted one. Sigh. I do wish her success though, but it's sad that ditching schlager is part of this whole being accepted into Sweden's heart thing.